ANAYSIS: The gigantic job facing Corbyn…or any other UK PM who dares to put citizens first

corbynQtime

If Conservative smears, media invention, security services black ops and Labour Establishment sour grapes don’t get Jeremy Corbyn, then the EU’s pernicious incompetence, neoliberal banking stranglehold and CIA régime change strategies probably will. My view remains that while he’s there leading a proper Opposition at last, we need to make the most of it – inevitable storms or not. Whether he’s done down by Labour’s fat cats or torpedoed by Mario Draghi, the task that lies ahead of him looks constitutionally, culturally, socially, economically and politically akin to scaling the Eiger’s North Face using treacle for ropes.

The deep cultural malaise into which Britain has collapsed cannot be exaggerated. The irritation of being conned, stitched up and generally made to feel like a forced-labour consuming slave continued right up until the moment I was back on French soil. France is several light years from being Planet Perfect, but at least its sales, marketing and legal professions haven’t gone completely feral – yet.

The Dartford Tunnel having gone digital since my departure, it is extremely easy to realise you’ve gone through it, but quite hard to grasp that you should’ve paid to do so: there are no tariff signs at all, and for a foreigner the Big Brother ‘C’ signs aren’t going to mean very much. Only once you’ve transgressed is there a small and confusing sign that says ‘Pay us by tomorrow night – join us online!’ It still doesn’t say how much you owe, and it most certainly doesn’t explain the fine for not doing do – a whopping £75. I’ll be ringing the Department of Transport (or whatever it’s called this week) and asking how many fines like that they collect per annum.

Back at Stansted airport, I handed in the car and was told there “might be an extra charge” for bringing it back with less petrol in the tank than at the outset. “Not a good idea” I ventured, “As I took a shot of the petrol you gave me”.

The car hire company is called Green Motion, and I cannot recommend their product and staff less highly, because they were the pits. Apart from the attempted insurance and petrol ripoffs, both on hiring and returning the office was engaged in furious arguments with customers. The best example I’ve ever seen of a monopoly employee abusing customers was housed inside the unattractive form of a red-haired lady who clearly felt she was inducting this year’s new 5-year old pupils into infant school.

“Just sit there dearie,” she said to a Polish girl who was next in the queue and had been obviously ignored for over ten minutes. “Why?” the customer asked. “Because I said so,” she whined, her face split by an insolent grin. Then she gave me a clipboard and pen, ordering, “Stand by your car, one of our executives will check you out”.

“Will there be a kit inspection?” I asked. Back turned, she ignored me, muttering, “Don’t run away now whatever you do”. Whether the monopoly of supply is a bus service or the only car hire available, the result is exactly the same. I often wish either of the Jeremy Hunt or Tony Benn tendency could grasp this simple fact of human nature.

The torture continued inside the Airport proper. Zipping merrily past the check-in queues (I’d obtained my boarding card online) I headed through the digital gates and found myself behind a wall of humanity that reminded me of the old Kop End at Liverpool just before a Merseyside Derby kickoff.

The security process took 55 minutes and it soon become obvious why: half the checkin units were out of use.
The task of clearing passengers with minimal delay and maximum safety has been privatised, of course. The company awarded the task is called Manchester Airport Group. I asked a staff member why only four out of eight trolleys were active, and she smiled sweetly, answering, “That’s a question we’d all be very glad if you addressed to our wonderful management”. Overhearing the exchange, a bloke handing me a tray added “Greedy skinflints, mate. It ain’t a service to them, it’s a profit machine”.

There was a fair amount of aggro in the queue, but to their credit, MAG staff handled it impeccably. Their
employers, however, have no right to make an ordeal twice as bad as it needs to be – especially given nobody
in the queues is even remotely likely to be responsible for Jihadism or US/UK foreign policy.

But a notice at the end of the security punishment made it all worthwhile by saying ‘Through security! Now a world of shopping awaits…’; it might just as well have said, ‘OK – we’ve emptied your bags….now we’re gonna empty your pockets!’

Immediately symbolic on entering the World of Shopping was that I couldn’t see my departure for five minutes on the big screen because a cosmetics ad took precedence. It was indeed a WoS, but there was nowhere to sit: one had to walk what seemed like miles past an exceedingly well-known (not to say tediously familiar) set of shop brands before eventually there were thousands of people, all exhausted from the trip through security and shpping, slumped and huddled tightly together on the seats.

I went into WH Smith to buy a snack, but all the staff had been shot. Instead of staff, there were machines with two blokes fully employed to sort the f**kwitted machines out when they went wrong, which appeared to be every 30 seconds.

Is there wifi here, I asked somebody with an ID tag on back in the WoS. Search me she said, which – after what we’d all been through – made me want to obey the order very much indeed.

There was wifi, you got an hour’s worth, and my pc said it was ‘limited’. It was limited to the little circle going round and round; it wasn’t capable of finding or loading pages. After the connection had timed out on several occasions, I went to ‘ Windows connection help’ panel, and its conclusion was ‘You are not connected to the internet’. Which was accurate, although not new information.

I went into a bar in search of mind alteration, and ordered a 25 cl glass of Malbec. “That’ll be £11.85,” said the barmaid chirpily. The equivalent of £35.55 a bottle. For bog-standard Argentinian Malbec. I took it, I paid for it, I drank it….and very quickly the world became a much nicer place. I weaved out and back into the throng of people, most of whom were going on holiday but all of whom looked thoroughly miserable. And then I saw this sign.

‘Escape Lounge’ it promised. But the promise – as always in the UK of 2015 – came at a price. And the price was £25. Twenty five pounds of her Majesty’s realm for some tea, biscuits, a selection of newspapers, and wifi. High speed wifi, not sh*t free wifi like the plebs were getting. Twenty five bloody quid just to escape from all the noise, mammon and warped values of Camerlot.

In one way or another, we are all paying for neoliberal codwallop: with our jobs, or the expensive prices, or the constant propaganda about the joy of buying stuff, or how we should want more and more and more to eat and drink in order to be at ease with the world. Today’s Independent had a tiny piece about how Cambridge University’s Dr Gareth Hollands had discovered that eating from smaller plates cuts calorie intake by 16%. Very sensible and bleeding obvious, but not much use when every countline and pizza and hamburger and crisp brand features bigger and bigger pack variants.

So much for ‘culture’. Now for transparency and the Law: where will Corbyn start on this mess? A report by the Government Insolvency Service pointing out how Comet’s fire-sale buyers asset stripped the failed retailer and defrauded the taxpayer out of £95million is to remain a secret. No reason is given for this completely unpardonable decision. Nor indeed are we told why the GIS has decided there is insufficient evidence for the prosecution of the Gordon Geckos who threw 7,000 people out of work, and left town owing £25 million in unpaid VAT. I mean, how can there not be evidence that they owned the damned thing and the bill hasn’t been paid?

But as we have seen, bankers set aside money and thus eschew the opportunity to go to prison, Newscorp scoundrels never commit perjury and don’t serve more than 15% of their sentences actually in jail as such or don’t face any charges where the evidence has not been erased beforehand. Judges direct juries to reach these conclusions, or don’t bother to ask the jurors what they they think because I mean WTF would they know when I’m a bent judge and they’re just twelve thick nincompoops? Editors of Mirror Group newspapers caught by pop stars hacking their messages don’t face any questions, nor do they get their collars felt despite a massive fine handed out to their corporate owners. Nor does anyone subpeona the pop star – or the TV talent show judges who could shop said guilty editor tomorrow.

Then there’s the EU. EU interior Ministers couldn’t agree last night on how to distribute refugee migrants around Europe, their Chairman saying it was “premature” at this stage. Premature isn’t what I’d call their decision to finally wake up three months late to the obvious megacrisis developing in relation to ClubMed migrants, but then Brussels is far too busy clubbing radical Governments to death to worry about minor wars in Syria. Although Corbyn’s Party has the solar system’s biggest blind spot in relation to Brussels-am-Berlin fascism, I understand that a lot of such euroscepticism as Jeremy entertains centres on the apparent desire of neoliberal forces to crush his mates in Spain, Italy and Greece.

All of which brings me to the economy. Unless you’re the sort of thick, smug shires nitwit who soaks up all the Cameron/Osborne blather like extra-thick blotting paper, it is by now obvious to the informed minority across the spectrum that you won’t get eternal growth fuelled by rising consumption rates if 70% of the consumers are seeing wage values destroyed, their factories moved to Asia, or their jobs forever after mechanised. It is in this arena, however, where nothing short of a popular outcry bordering on revolt is going to make his objectives even 10% achievable. This is not the old boy new on the block saying economic strategy is flawed in some technical sense: this is a bloke from nowhere saying the entire model of capitalism to which business and politics seems now wedded is daft, unfair, dishonest, dangerous, and in urgent need of being completely demolished.

Every central banker, media mogul, multinational CEO, US State Department spook, Brussels oligarch and Wall Street/City sheister is going to be on his case. Only the Brics might warm to him – and if he plays his cards right, Clubmed and the old Eastern Europe: but his medium term task, when you think about it, is no less than telling Washington where to stick their Special Relationship….and both Mario Draghi and Wolfgang Schäuble where they can park their devious austerity nonsense.

As for the UK Constitutional issues, there really are only two: the House of Lords, and the voting system. The first will, I predict, be a simple knee-jerk from the new Labour leader in favour of an elected chamber – a tramline of thinking that could be one of the greatest missed opportunities of all time. But the voting system debate will test his principle to breaking point.

This next bit of the blog is somewhat truncated and gobbledigibbledee because my connectivity is crap – I’ve been trying to post this since Tuesday afternoon. Suffice to say that, if Jeremy Corbyn is going to beat all these bastards, he will have to motivate the non-voting disillusioned and desperate to get out there and put a tick in a box; and everyone who’s for decency should help the guy with that, for he needs all the help he can get.

An estimated 44% of voters will, as things stand, not vote next time. Jeremy Corbyn says he believes in grassroots democracy – and I for one believe him. Just persuading 1 in 3 of them could transform British politics in favour of reform.

36 thoughts on “ANAYSIS: The gigantic job facing Corbyn…or any other UK PM who dares to put citizens first

  1. A great rant which I much enjoyed and I am sure many will identify with your experiences at airports, retail outlets and road tariffs. That said, I am not sure they are all confined to the UK. I had the same road tariff problem in Ireland although my fine was rather less! My worst airport experience was at Charles de Gaulle in Paris which made every possible effort to make sure we all missed our connection. As for Lawyers, the problem, in my view, stems from Tony Blair’s decision to allow them to advertise, leading them down the retail route of sales and marketing.

    I suspect my poiltics may not accord with your’s so your opening paragrpahs did not particularly appeal but what the hell.

    BTW why is Newscorp slected for approbation while other media appear to have been doing the same things eg, The Mirror.

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  2. The answer of course is do not travel a nywhere other than to a radius which you can comfortably cover by foot in all weathers and where hopefully there will be retail outlets offering value for money sustenance .
    Buy all other things such as consumer durables, fmcg s etc online and hope to God they get delivered and your card is not hacked . Other than that take sunshine in the garden and walks in nearby park in summer and indoor exercise in winter. Become a current affairs voyeur by ogling the internet 18 hours a day and never dialogue with other humans on the grounds they may knife , shoot, taser or in some other way attack you. Do your bsnking online and again hope nobody hacks.

    Oh yes — and it helps if you are either very rich , unemployed or retired as otherwuse you will be burdened with thst Full-On iinterface with life and all its physical threats i e interacting with societyby hsving to exit the hovel to go to work each day…… Finally after such a life in the shadows make sure that when you die it is alone and preferably in your bed from old age.

    Sorted !!

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  3. The answer of course is do not travel a nywhere other than to a radius which you can comfortably cover by foot in all weathers and where hopefully there will be retail outlets offering value for money sustenance .
    Buy all other things such as consumer durables, fmcg s etc online and hope to God they get delivered and your card is not hacked . Other than that take sunshine in the garden and walks in nearby park in summer and indoor exercise in winter. Become a current affairs voyeur by ogling the internet 18 hours a day and never dialogue with other humans on the grounds they may knife , shoot, taser or in some other way attack you. Do your bsnking online and again hope nobody hacks.

    Oh yes — and it helps if you are either very rich , unemployed or retired as otherwuse you will be burdened with thst Full-On iinterface with life and all its physical threats i e interacting with societyby hsving to exit the hovel to go to work each day…… Finally after such a life in the shadows make sure that when you die it is alone and preferably in your bed from old age.

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  4. One of the appeals of JC is that he appears to be an ‘untouchable’, i.e. can’t be bought, blackmailed or bullied, a term which cannot easily be applied to many in high office and the media. I just hope that this proves to be the case.

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  5. I watched Corbyn v. Cameron at PMQ’s today. Corbyn seemed out of his depth: “I’ve had an email from Angela who works in psychiatry and she’s worried about bed availability “. Cameron; “yes Angela must be a true angel to work in psychiatry and I’m going to do my best to help her but I can’t do anything without a STRONG ECONOMY “. Every question followed the same formula. Corbyn seemed afraid to tackle Cameron by himself; he had to hide behind Angela or Paul or Marie. He didn’t argue with the answers in which Cameron sympathised with the public and set himself up as the only possible saviour now the loony left were in charge of the opposition and wanting to threaten the economic and physical security of all Britain’s hard working families. The BBC called it a “Beige revolution “. I would only agree with half that analysis.

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  6. Did you have a rotten day today? Here in southern Germany the rumour is they are going to locate a load just 500m from my home. At present they are located on the other side of town – by the way not many women and babies in evidence – mostly military age males on bicycles.

    Since our public health agencies – I’m thinking the hegemonic US FDA – do in no way serve us, I took health matters into my own hands lately. Read this:

    https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-saturated-fat-scam-whats-the-real-story/

    There is embedded a lecture by Robert Lustig. During that lecture (watch the total hits – 6 million) he mentioned the word Paleo Diet. I Googled that and it opened up a whole new world akin to 1976 in health and fitness – the punk era. I have started to eat eggs for breakfast, cut out sugar and LOST 10KG! I never even set out to “diet” it just melted off in weeks. 85kg to 75kg in months with NO effort. I’m now practicing the 3000 year old practice of Qi Gong which is unlocking the secrets of self health every morning.

    Is anyone else waking up to the biggest lies?

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  7. I consider myself to be a Red-Ukipper. My observation is that Corbyn is not just the underdog,.. he’s the underdog’s,.. underdog.
    I like him, and I’ll shift my vote if he commits to leaving the EU. He has a touch of the Peter Sellers ‘Being There’ about him, but that’s not a criticism , and frankly it’s a tad exciting and positive. He’s likely not the answer long term , but he’s a potential stepping stone to where we need to be?
    We need to cut him [Corbyn], some slack, and listen a while, to the new telemetry, from the Labour party as it was meant to be.

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  8. Re airport queues, I was impressed by a nice little scam at Budapest some time ago. After checking in I found myself in a truly enormous queue for security that snaked right around the terminal, with only one channel open. After 75 minutes and with departure time creeping up on us some airport staff walked down the panicking line of passengers asking if anyone would like to pay £3 to go straight through one of the closed channels. The elderly couple in front (and many others) jumped at the chance; I was tempted till I realised that, as I had checked a bag in, the plane wasn’t going anywhere without me. Lo and behold, ten minutes before departure two more channels were miraculously opened and the queue melted away. Almost two hours standing in line just so they could squeeze a few last quid out of anyone leaving the country.

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  9. For a First day Corbyn did quite well,by using the public he forced Cameron to answer questions even if falsely & were he answered falsely he used empirical data to highlight it.but the real subtle change was in changing the workings of PMQ,instead of Miliband setting up Cameron & Cameron countering & still getting in the last word,when Corbyn did retort although mildly he often had the last word only when he didn’t counter did he give up this advantage,which over a parliament may well be productive & i don’t think even he realised what he had done!

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  10. I think Andrew Neil showed how to do it ten minutes later when he had Ed Vaisey on toast by asking six probing questions about Britain’s crap rate of house building.
    Interesting piece in Private Eye how Watson, Benn and Burnham voted for war in Iraq.

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  11. Don’t depend on Corbyn for anything too grand John, the Greek people were also wooed by a radical leftie too and we all know how that all ended up. Is Britain heading for the same route?

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  12. I am an old bird like Corbyn, one thing I have learnt about all politicians, they are all good at one thing, selling themselves to get elected, after that useless.He might on the surface have some bright ideas, and that is all they will be bright ideas. He will be 71 when the next election looms, and the way the world is changing so rapidly at the moment, he will probably by then be the last person we need in government. Meantime I wait to see just how good his rhetoric is without a sheet of paper to read from.. I have just heard him say he wants to stay in the EU, that did not last long.

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  13. Steve :
    To be fair, if you look across most of Europe, there seems to be a quiet exodus from the ‘machine’ establishment politics that has dominated the last couple of decades. Some of it is right wing, and some left wing, but for sure the sanitized ‘centre ground’ politics, is rapidly being vacated.
    Politics is starting to get uncomfortable, but it’s also starting to get real.
    I say, bring it on.

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  14. Infrastructure renewal and jobs, rolling back war products and limiting crime against the poor. Pinko’s Whats the new word for rational people’s ideas used in public by grownups?

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  15. ” it might just as well have said, ‘OK – we’ve emptied your bags….now we’re gonna empty your pockets!’ ”
    Classic!!!

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  16. Well said and I hope so, but I only hope and don’t plan on it. I hoped when new labor came on the scene (at the time hope was needed?).

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  17. @WFD – I had hope following the first Bliar victory, despite the wiser counsel of my cynical father who was aware of Slick Tone’s track record at the bar and in Westminster. I am almost afraid to put my hope in Corbyn even though I know he is a very different prospect from Bliar and New Labour. The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ plays constantly in my head these days.

    As to the airport experience. ban VIP lounges, and make the occupants of private jets go through the same experience as the hoi polloi and airports would improve immeasurably almost overnight.

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  18. indigoboy ………..Corbyn has my admiration for not singing “God save the Queen” at the remembrance of the Battle of Britain but beyond that the man is in total la la land. If you are pinning your hopes on this man then all is lost. The Labor party is drifting into total irrelevance . If it makes you feel good then I’m happy for you.

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  19. in a couple of weeks I’m flying to Russia so thanks for the reminder to avoid the UK airport gestapo. I’m thinking of connecting in Frankfurt but it might not be any better.

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  20. One of the wonderful things about living abroad is reminding myself of the great choice I made during my increasingly less frequent visits back to the UK. It’s just not enough for the British ruling class to succeed, everyone else has to fail- hence the shit plebian wifi.

    ‘The English Advantage’: Wherever we go in the world, we’ll not be disapointed- The weather will be nicer, the people will be happier and the food will be better.

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  21. @BC

    In my opinion this is the first time the Labour party has been relevant in a very, very long time. The fact that many Brits are finally awakening to the scam of NeoLiberal/NeoCon crony capitalism and the injustice of the growing police/surveillance state is shown by the success of Corbyn in the face of a concerted MSM smear campaign. That alone is a hopeful sign.

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  22. I think Watson is the stalking horse and will eventually take over. I will never forget his “Paedos in Parliament” speech which blew reality open for me personally.

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  23. He is a Fabian. I think he doesn’t even now who they are tbh. Google “Fabian Freeway in America” (I think it is called that). They are terrifying.

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  24. Poor you. I once spent three nights without visa in transit in a Novotel in Sheremetyevo en route to Mongolia where I met the now wife. What a shithole. Heathrow is heaven!

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  25. Agreed, lets face it, JC (not Jesus Christ!) has come from relative obscurity to leader of the opposition in no time at all. He probably thinks he will wake up soon and it will all be a dream. Add to that the fact that his ideologies are somewhat at odds with many of the red-tories in the party, and he is facing a pretty steep learning curve.

    He is going to get it in the neck at every turn – not singing the ode to Her Maj is already being inflated to galactic proportions.

    I hope he does stick to his guns rather than dance to the media’s tune. Alas, I expect that he will soon fall for the allure of the power and money and become a shill like all the rest.

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  26. Same here in Bavaria:

    Weather – check.
    People – yeah mostly except the mother in law.
    Food – as underwhelming as Britains.

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  27. Sadly just a day later and he’s committing to the ‘stay in’ opinion… I’m disappointed that his belief turned out to be so weak !

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  28. Then there’s the EU. EU interior Ministers couldn’t agree last night on how to distribute refugee migrants around Europe, their Chairman saying it was “premature” at this stage. Premature isn’t what I’d call their decision to finally wake up three months late to the obvious megacrisis developing in relation to ClubMed migrants, but then Brussels is far too busy clubbing radical Governments to death to worry about minor wars in Syria. Although Corbyn’s Party has the solar system’s biggest blind spot in relation to Brussels-am-Berlin fascism, I understand that a lot of such euroscepticism as Jeremy entertains centres on the apparent desire of neoliberal forces to crush his mates in Spain, Italy and Greece.

    Do you really believe our masters in the EU want to stop Immigration?

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  29. Pity you couldn’t pull an anglo saxon wife. That’s half the problem today. Foreign wife for man with tiny dick equals someone to F*CK in return for citizenship in civilisation.

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  30. We are all aware of the fiasco that is the UK today but to suggest that labour and Corbyn are somehow a friend of ordinary people is completed deluded. To add just one example. Corbyn is pro immigration through and through just like, and perhaps more so, the rest of Labour (and the tories judging by their complete inaction). Mass immigration is a tool of that great buzzword, globalization, which you are a Neanderthal if you don’t support, of course. Immigration is simply a tool to reduce the wages of ordinary people to the lowest denominator and homogenize cultures to reduce opposition to the destruction of sovereignties and Corbyn is its biggest cheerleader. Defender of the ordinary man my ass.

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